When it comes to BMP’s shows on MTV, we’ve been reduced to one flagship show: The Challenge. We’re entering season 34, a show whose existence is an accumulation of 14 Road Rules seasons, 32 Real World seasons, and 33 prior Challenge seasons. With such a long history, we’ve seen many experiments take place on MTV.
Old school fans may remember Coral from Real World: Back to New York, Winning Battle of the Seasons, or quitting The Gauntlet 3. However, there was a time when she was more than just a cast member, she used to host specials. Let’s take a trip down memory lane.
The first time we saw Coral in a hosting gig was when she hosted “Coral’s Casting Couch” where she introduced the Real World Key West cast. Her second hosting gig was during a marathon of Real World: Hollywood where she and a cycle of guests critiqued the episodes of RW: Hollywood in “Coral Vision.” If you know Coral, you can expect a certain type of commentary. If you saw these shows, you’d know she delivered.
Right now there’s an outcry from fans for old school cast members. Of course, not all of them want to return or commit to a full seasons, but many are still invested in the show. So how does MTV appease the fans? They’ve already given us the answers: Coral’s Couch.
Essentially, what we need is an Aftershow where a host (like Coral) recaps episodes with guests who are alumni accompanying her each week. They can provide commentary, make fun of poor decisions, and reintroduce old faces into the Challenge fandom. Ideally we’d have champions there to provide commentary, as they know what it takes to win a season.
Additionally, having rerun episodes with commentary from a host (like Coral) and a guest could work well. I know Bad Girls Club has done similar, but having extra content is really important right now. It’s highly relevant at reunions and it is consistently referenced in future seasons. If the Coral Vision episodes proceeded the subsequent episode, then social media commentary could be incorporated into the episodes. It could also reveal juicy secrets so fans aren’t just relying on social media gossip to piece together storylines.
Right now, podcasting and social media recaps are really popular and The Challenge needs to jump on the bandwagon. I’m not just saying this because I create recaps and provide commentary. Look at the top podcasts, many of them are recap shows for TV shows. Social media is having a real impact on the trajectory of TV shows, but MTV hasn’t seemed to effectively incorporate it into their shows.
Plus, the budget for The Challenge seems to be growing with its $1,000,000 prizes and reunions in London. I think they can afford to give the fans something better. These idea would certainly appeal to a certain demographic of fans.
Though I will give credit where it’s due. The mini-Challenges (like the Universal Studio Challenge) have been really positive and nice surprises for the fans. If this is any indication, people are willing to watch Challenge veterans even if it’s in a smaller capacity.